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Former Bengals defensive end Margus Hunt signing 2-year deal with Colts

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It’s somewhat surprising to see Hunt fly off the free agent market within a week of the new league year beginning.

Former Cincinnati Bengals defensive end and skilled kick blocker Margus Hunt is leaving Cincinnati to sign with the Indianapolis Colts, per Ian Rapoport.

A project player selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Hunt never developed the way the Bengals had hoped and failed to live up to his second round billing. In his four years with the Bengals, he started no games but played in 44 games and registered 29 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 passes defended. He led the NFL in blocked kicks in 2016 with three.

Every year, the hope was that Hunt would take a step forward and develop into the player the Bengals projected he could become when they selected him in the draft, but every year, he failed to show much of any progress. 2016 was his best season, but it still wasn’t enough to warrant bringing him back on a second contract. Hunt was most impressive on specials teams, so the Colts will likely look to use him there more than on defense.

Some of Hunt’s best games have come in the preseason against the Colts, who the Bengals play their final preseason game against every year. Hunt may have seen the most NFL action against any team against the Colts as he’s fought for his spot on the roster each year in that final preseason game. In the 2016 preseason, Hunt had 2 tackles against the Colts, in 2015 he had 4, in 2014 he had 4 tackles and 3 sacks and in 2013, he had 4 tackles.

Hunt grew up in Estonia and was a shot put champion, competing internationally. He won a gold medal in discus at the European Junior World Championships in 2005 and 2006. In 2007, Hunt enrolled at Southern Methodist University and joined the track team. But, while he was at SMU, the school dropped its track and field program and Hunt decided to take up football for the first time. His size and strength figured to make him a great fit for the defensive end position. Blocked kicks were among his specialities in college as he blocked a total of 17 at SMU. Hunt then proved his NFL ability at the Combine in 2013, benching 38 reps and recording a 34.5 inch vertical jump and 4.6 40-yard dash time, tops among all defensive end prospects. That convinced the Bengals to draft him with the 53rd overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. With minimal football experience, there was always hope for Hunt to continue improving, but, he’ll now look to improve in a new city.

Hunt’s career in Cincinnati wasn’t what anyone associated with the team was hoping for and there was no expectation for the Bengals to bring him back in 2017.

We wish Hunt the best of luck with the Colts.

Hunt Retweeted this Tweet, confirming the news of his signing.